Why Did God Allow Sin?

Why Did God Allow Sin?

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans8 Minutes

Why would an all-powerful, loving, wise God allow sin into Eden? Everything God does (and allows) offers potential good for us and glory for Him: allowing sin was no exception.

Let’s be very clear, though – sin is not (was not) part of God’s creative work. He declared His creation in its fullness to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31). He knew His power and good could overpower evil (Romans 8:28) – and gives us the privilege of experiencing that victory in Christ (Romans 12:21).

Let’s also be clear that sin is NOT good. Isaiah 5:20 admonishes us never to call good evil nor evil good. Even though God chose to allow sin, He detests it and the heartache it causes. God’s hatred for and wrath upon sin reveals the essence of His loving goodness.

Before God uttered the first word of Creation, He knew the incredible cost it would bring to Himself … to His handiwork. The most oft-repeated verse of the Bible contains profound truth seldom probed.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

God so loved – love gives life. It is creative, generous – and as the cross revealed, God so loved that He gave His own life. The Creator could not express the fullness of His innate goodness without being willing to sacrifice His very self. Every act of God is so we will know that He is God. Everything God allows is for our good and His glory.

Creation Reveals God.

God – who is both life and love – can’t help but create and give. The Creation story reveals His generous provision and great wisdom in living color!

His spirit hovered over chaotic, dark nothingness and as He gave voice to His thoughts, creation began appearing. Boundaries, space, time, light, plants and creatures – all in the proper order, all perfectly symbiotically balanced. Every command to His creation was an invitation to participate in more creation (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 15, 20, 22, 24).

With the world operating as designed, God moved onto His denouement of creation: a being in His own image! Forming humanity out of dirt, He infused the dust with divinity by imparting His own breath of life. To the innocent Adam, man of earth, God said, “Be fruitful and have dominion” – or in other words, join me in this joyous work of creating, loving, and ruling (Genesis 1:28).

Life and love continually expand – God creates because that is who He is, and we are made to be like Him. The process God planned for transforming creatures made of dirt into His likeness is the most incredible aspect of creation and the greatest revelation of His character.

Turning dirt into divinity.

Trust and obedience lead to transformation. Obeying God’s commands always produces blessing because He wants the best for us. Before Adam could step into his destiny, God set out to teach him how to recognize his needs and cooperate with God for their fulfillment. He did that through another instruction.

God brought all of the animals to Adam and assigned him a task – give them names. Working alongside God, Adam did that and in the process, discovered his need for a mate. Isn’t it beautiful to see how God creates and works with His creation?

God then allowed Adam to work with Him – and to give of himself – to create the answer to his need. In that partnership, God created the woman and Adam began to understand that creating requires sacrificial giving. Every instruction, every action allowed Adam – and now the woman – to know God – to experience God through their own lives.

Transforming Innocence into Holiness

Innocent goodness surrounded Adam and the woman. They walked in the presence of God and experienced every blessing of creation.

But God is much more than innocent goodness, isn’t He?

He is power and wisdom and holiness and infinite glory … and His desire is to be fully known. Centuries later King Solomon would write “an inheritance quickly gained will not be blessed in the end,” and that was true for Adam and his helpmate.

Adam and Eve had divinity within them – the very breath of God Himself. They had the capacity to search out more of God and become the “kings” they were created to be (Proverbs 25:2). But instead, they entertained a doubt about God’s goodness. Even though God had only been good to them, the serpent’s slithering insinuation that God was holding out on them took root. Doubt is like that.

The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us. C.S. Lewis

Doubt about God’s goodness opened the door for evil, because distrust in God’s goodness is the essence of sin. The great theologian Augustine explained sin as an absence of goodness: “All which is corrupted is deprived of good.” Into that void, darkness rushes.

In the Garden (Genesis 3), sin ushered in shame, fear, and blame. Those three things are the unholy trinity that creates every evil we see today: hatred, violence, greed, sexual perversion, abuse, death. Anytime we doubt God’s goodness, power, and wisdom, we fall into sin – and its death-producing emotions.

In the ugly darkness created by sin, we discover our need for God. Our strength, our wisdom, our plans will rescue us for awhile. But eventually, we’ll come to the end of ourselves and know our need for God. When we do that, we begin to know Him more fully – and marvel at His wisdom and power that brings eternal good from absolute emptiness. Miraculously, we discover that Genesis 1:1 is true even today. His Spirit hovers over the dark chaos speaking “Life.” His desire to give, to create, to love – and invite us into His joy remains.

There is no greater love than that which will give its own life (John 15:13).